What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Now, THIS Is "New Wave"

April 20, 2010, 12:43 PM

Here at Mind Matters we strive to be your full-service source of octopus-cognition news. And in my last post on that, I described humans making videos for octopuses. So it's only fitting that I link to this film—a human-mollusc video event where the shoe is on the other tentacle.

Diver Victor Huang was exploring the waters near Wellington when he turned his new video camera on an octopus, which snatched the camera out of his hands and swam away. The camera was recording, and Huang, who had just spent $700 on it, was determined to get it back, and did. Result: the first film ever shot by a mollusc.

Maybe Robert McKee would call that a mere gimmick (the octopus, like Steven Spielberg, appears more interested in playing with the technology than in making a statement). On the other hand, maybe not: The film has conflict, strong motivations, several reversals, and suspense (one character pulls a gun on the other, and I defy you not to worry that he'll shoot).

And, back on the science side of the seesaw, the movie's also consistent with the faith researchers in this field have in their subjects' intelligence. Huang says the octopus went straight for his camera, and, as you can see, it wasn't trying to eat it. In other words, Huang thinks, the animal wasn't scared or looking for a fight or acting on reflex. It was curious.

Want to learn more? In this post Hannah at Culturing Science thinks (and links) brilliantly about the challenge of defining "intelligence" and "consciousness" in an octopus.


Now, THIS Is "New Wave"

Newsletter: Share: